November 5, 1988 - Rocket lifts off at home

Before the Rocket lifted off in Ann Arbor, the Rocket blasted off at home. Notre Dame came into the game as the new #1 team in the nation after beating Navy 22-7 improving to 8-0. Rice opened the game with a field goal to take a quick 3-0 lead. Rocket Ismail would receive the kick and return it 78 yards for a touchdown. Notre Dame would score touchdowns on their next three offensive drives and led 31-6 at halftime.

In the fourth quarter after another Rice field goal, Rocket Ismail again returned the kickoff 83 yards for a second touchdown. Ismail became the first Notre Dame player to return two kickoffs for a touchdown since Paul Castner accomplished such a feat in 1922 against Kalamazoo. Both returns are included in the video below, starting at the 2:56 mark. The returns from the Michigan game directly follow the Rice clips.

The second notable feature of this game came on ND's final PAT attempt. Rice blocked it and returned it for a 2-point conversion, making Rice the first team in college football ever to do so. The college rule permitting defensive safeties on extra point attempts had just taken effect in 1988; the NFL never has adopted it.

             1  2  3  4     
Rice         3  3  0  5 - 11
Notre Dame  14 17  7 16 - 54

With two kickoff returns for touchdowns against Rice and Michigan, Ismail is the only NCAA football player to return two kickoffs for a touchdown in two separate games.

Keywords: football, rice, raghib rocket ismail, paul castner, michigan, record, kalamazoo

Posted On: 2011-11-05 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07
Edited On: 2014-08-27 17:02:52 by IrishTrpt07


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